Court backs greater access for Ohio voters
Despite all the mean political attacks candidates and groups are making, perhaps the most obnoxious activity in the 2012 elections is not methods used to influence voters but the efforts made to prevent people from voting.
In addition to unneeded voter ID laws intended to reduce the number of voters leaning Democratic, some states have actually reduced the hours of opportunity to vote.
Perhaps the most draconian attempt came in Ohio, where the Republican secretary of state essentially decided extended voting hours were welcome in affluent suburban counties (which lean GOP) but not in urban counties (which lean Democratic). After hearing the complaints of unfairness, Jon Husted then stripped all counties of weekend voting.
Fortunately for voters, a federal court last week ordered Ohio early-voting polls to be open the three days before the election – on a Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Husted – who is required to follow the law in running the state’s election – says he will not implement the federal judge’s order unless a federal court of appeals upholds it.
There is no valid reason for my office or the county boards of elections to set hours for in-person absentee voting the last three days before the election at this time, Husted wrote, apparently misunderstanding the phrase federal court order.